NLC CRISIS: ODAH REJECTS 'STRANGE PAYMENT' OF N8M INTO HIS ACCOUNT
The crisis rocking the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) took a new dimension with the sacked General Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Mr John Odah rejecting the sum of N8, 471, 870.00 paid into his account by the NLC, even as his lawyers have given the congress 14-day ultimatum to reinstate him.
In rejecting the money, Odah, in a letter dated August 9, 2011 and addressed to the Congress' President, Abdulwahed Omar, described the money, which was paid into his account in Zenith Bank on July 14, 2011 as 'strange,' adding that he was yet to receive any letter from Omar explaining what the money was meant for.
The letter reads in part: 'I became aware of this payment when I asked the Zenith Bank for my statement of account for the month of July 2011. I have not received any correspondence from the NLC since this strange payment was made into my account over three weeks ago. I can, however, surmise that this payment is in furtherance of actions to give effect to the purported termination of my appointment as General Secretary of NLC, which you communicated to me in your letter dated May 24 2011.'
According to Odah, his letter to Omar rejecting the termination of his appointment and another 112- page memo to the National Executive Council (NLC) pleading to be given fair hearing were pointers to the non-conclusion of the termination saga and therefore making the payment of any terminal benefits completely unnecessary.
He also reminded Omar that the tactics of secretly paying terminal benefits adopted by the current leadership of NLC under Omar was similar to the dubious tactics that many employers had used many times, which the NLC had had course to fight against over the years. According to Odah, the NLC defeated most employers that adopted such underhand and unpopular tactics to terminate their employees' appointments.
He added: ' President, you know we have fought against this type of underhand and dirty tactics used by some employers in all the years of our existence as a central labour organization. How you and your colleagues in the congress leadership hope you would succeed in this deception, beats my imagination.'
Odah disclosed that he had promptly deposited the N8, 471, 870.00 back into the Zenith Bank account number 1010360999 of the NLC until clarification over what the money was meant for was made to him.
He, therefore, appealed to Omar to refrain from further underhand tactics until the issues he was contesting with respect to the purported termination of his appointment as the General Secretary of the NLC were resolved.
Meanwhile, the President of the NLC, Abdulwahed Omar had been urged to reinstate Odah within 14 days or face court action. This is contained in a letter by P.A Akubo (SAN), who is a lawyer to John Odah. The letter entitled, 'Legal demand for the reinstatement of Mr John Ejoha Odah, as general secretary, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).'
Letter read in part: 'Notice is hereby given that if within fourteen days (14) days from the date hereof, the demands contained hereinbefore are not met, our client would have no option than to challenge the unwarranted termination of his appointment as General Secretary of NLC and infamous comments to the public on his state of health. In that event, our client will claim substantial damages without further recourse. Comrade, we sincerely hope that good counsel will prevail and that you will not allow this matter to degenerate to an embarrassing court action.'